The establishment of a Falun Gong exercise practice site at The Hague International Court resulted from sharing at the group-study class started by Dutch Falun Gong practitioners in April. Master1 told us,
“Each Dafa disciple has to fully play his role and pro-actively do what he should as a Dafa disciple. As you go about validating the Fa, whatever you think of, see, encounter, or can recognise, go ahead and do it, and only then are you walking your own path.” (Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students)
More and more fellow practitioners walked into the newly-established practice site to join us. On World Anti-Torture Day, even fellow practitioners from Belgium travelled all the way to come here. Every practitioner came to the awareness that this is a practice site to promote Falun Gong and tell people the truth.
The Hague International Court is a place of international communication as well as a well-known tourist attraction. Consulates and Embassies of many countries and some international organisations are established nearby. We were granted an unprecedented permission to practise exercises outside The Hague International Court every day. We practise exercises from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day. During these two hours there are judges and staff from the international court leaving their offices, cars pass by and pedestrians wait for the buses giving them all a chance to find out about Falun Gong. Also the free parking benefit during the two hours attracts great numbers of tourists. Falun Gong practitioners come to practise exercises directly after college or after work, having their dinner time postponed. A period of two hours doesn’t seem sufficient; some of the practitioners might have spent over two hours every day commuting from their places to the practice site. Come rain or shine, practitioners insist on coming to practise the five sets of Falun Gong exercises together. It has been three months since the establishment of the practice site at The Hague. Every day things happen, and nothing is accidental.
One day I heard deafening shouts, “Falun Gong, cheer up! Falun Gong, cheer up!” The deafening shouts came from tens of people opposite our practise site. I stopped practising the exercises and expressed my sincere appreciation with a hand gesture. They continued shouting out the words, the whole square echoed with their voices. My wife who is a new practitioner came to tell me that they were from Taiwan; after having been informed of the truth of Falun Gong, they showed their support for Falun Gong. Seeing their young and smiling faces, I felt touched. Then at the other side of the square I saw some fellow Chinese from mainland China who were always in a hurry and looked cold and indifferent. At that exact instant I understood why Master wanted us to inform people with the facts about Falun Gong. We really have to offer sentient beings a chance of salvation. To rekindle the lights in people’s hearts is to save precious lives. The evil forces use violence to force every being to forget right and wrong, good and evil, their conscience being defiled and their morality being corrupted. Lives fall into the pit of corruption when tempted by benefits to stand by the side of the evil. It is our duty to save sentient beings. To tell people the facts is to save them and during such a process we are also cultivating ourselves. The process of cultivation is one of eliminating our attachments and also strengthening our righteous thoughts.
At the entrance to The Hague International Court more and more people pro-actively came to our practice site to understand the facts. On several occasions I found the whole square packed with touring buses. Numerous Chinese tourists were unwilling to board their buses though urged by their guide. It wasn’t until we had finished the five sets of exercises that they would stop taking pictures or taping us. They were reluctant to depart. As their buses started, the Chinese tourists kept waving at us. We know that each overseas practice site is inseparably linked with mainland China. Meanwhile, we are drawing concern from more and more international organisations and human rights groups. In the beginning of July we were invited to visit the Dutch Parliament. We took advantage of this occasion to inform the MPs of the shooting incident in South Africa as well as the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners by former Chinese president and dictator Jiang Zemin an his group. We quoted the epigraph carved on the Parliament Hall, “Once justice comes to a halt, wars start.” I told the MPs, “We come here to look for justice. The international community must work together to stop the massacre of civilians.” The MPs showed their immediate agreement with my words. They expressed it was their obligation and also their responsibility to stop the massacre taking place in China. They promised to urge the Dutch government to stand by the side of justice.
The Dutch Queen had even sent Her regards to us. We had also met Indian monks who sincerely showed their respect to us by pressing both the fingers and the heels of their palms against each other.
In the three months we had numerous unexpected encounters and continuous interference as well. Since we held up display boards in protest against the torture and unfolded the banner of “Dutch Falun Gong Practitioners Demand Global Lawsuits against Jiang Zemin,” many people who have been deceived by the propaganda in China have been feeling uneasy. They regarded our practice site as a thorn in their flesh. Every day the Chinese embassy sends staff to come here to record and photograph us. People were ordered to verbally abuse and threaten us, interfere with our activities, or even directly asked if we were not afraid of death; some of them followed us on our way home; the others even acted stealthily outside my house. When I walked toward them to give them some Falun Gong related materials, they just ran away.
We had frequently encountered this kind of interference around the shooting incident in South Africa. On the 29th of June several men claimed they came from Italy. At that time there was only my wife to tell them the facts. Flying into a rage, they accused that we were paid to come here every day. My wife solemnly told them, “Falun Gong does not collect any money or wealth. If a person takes money from others, then he/she is not a Falun Gong practitioner. We volunteered to come here after work every day. No one hires us. Take the truth materials and attentively read them.” These men turned red and left in anger. The next day one fellow practitioner called to tell us about the shooting incident in South Africa. I realised that Jiang’s dark hands had once again reached overseas. At this decisive moment we must ask ourselves if we have a firm belief in Dafa. If the answer is yes then we can have a clearer understanding towards everything. On the 30th of June the Chinese embassy was quite active. They used to hide in the parking lot across the road to monitor, photograph and record us. But today they directly came toward me and within a meter distance repeatedly photographed my face. On the 3rd of July, Dutch Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the Chinese embassy to send forth righteous thoughts. The same Chinese officials came out and photographed the face of each practitioner within a meter distance. The dirty tricks of the evil are to threaten us. If we remain uninfluenced, the evil will be at the ends of their wits.
On the 20th of June I dreamt that Master came to see us at the Hague practice site. Glowing golden rays were streaming from Master’s Golden Body, and then being focused upon Master. Words failed to describe how tender and glaring the golden rays were. A few days later, I shared my dream with a fellow practitioner upon returning from a Fa-conference in Vienna. The fellow practitioner gladly told me that Master used this dream to encourage us.
On the 24 of June the wind was very strong at The Hague and reached speeds of up to 100 kilometres an hour. Our banner could only be tied to a row of stone stools. I practised the exercises alone at the practice site, while plenty of tourists and pedestrians encircled me circle by circle focusing their cameras on me. No wind could blow inside the area around me. The air around me was like solidified and still water, very dense, heavy and warm. The acts of the exercises were automatically floating around my body; I felt like boarding a transparent vessel. When I finished the fifth exercise, it dawned on me that I ad come to understand Dafa and that Master had arranged this.
As I recall, I started to practise Falun Gong whilst I was following the teachings of Christianity. Christianity used to give me a feeling of homeliness; on the contrary I had felt like “an orphan” for a very long period of time since my cultivation. When thinking of the past experiences, I feel extremely ashamed. Now I can tell the difference between validating myself during my cultivation and validating Dafa. Obtaining the Fa and assimilating myself with the universal truth, I can tolerate everything; even grass and trees will be nodding at me. The mercy and compassion that Master taught us has to be cultivated. Human words fail to express “Buddha’s boundless grace.”
Many of my fellow practitioners encouraged me to write an article to share what I had experienced at the practice site located outside The Hague International Court and also to share my cultivation experiences with all the other practitioners. I know that to write down this experience sharing article is also part of my cultivation. I will not be deterred by any hardship. I have been cultivating in Falun Gong for nearly two years. I hope that through this article I can exchange my own understanding and experiences of cultivation with others. If there is anything improper, please be kind enough to correct me.
1. Master - Respectfully referring to the founder of Falun Gong, Mr Li Hongzhi.
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